A long, compact summer of golf is closing in on PGA Tour players as they head to Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, for the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge. In what will be the 77th playing of this event, competitors from last week's PGA Championship may find the host venue boasting similar features to that of Southern Hills.
Last year's runner up, Jordan Spieth, described Southern Hills as "Colonial on steroids," which makes some sense as both golf courses were originally designed by famed architect Perry Maxwell. Oddly enough, Colonial will undergo a Gil Hanse restoration as well; however that will not occur until after the 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge is completed.
While parallels may be drawn between the two properties, that is not to say there are no differences. In recent years, Colonial has found a way to reward premier strikers of the golf ball when looking at past success stories of Jason Kokrak, Daniel Berger, Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele.
A shorter venue for PGA Tour's standards, the main defense comes in the form of narrow fairways, tight tree-lined corridors and dogleg-shaped holes. With 2022 PGA champion Justin Thomas, Spieth and other members of golf's upper echelon proving victorious the past month, more of the same could be in store this weekend.
Let's take a closer look at this week's 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge with odds provided via Caesars Sportsbook.
Event: Charles Schwab Challenge | May 26-29
Location: Colonial Country Club -- Fort Worth, Texas
Par: 70 | Yardage: 7,209 | Purse: $8,400,000
2022 Charles Schwab Challenge field, odds
- Scottie Scheffler (10-1): The missed cut at the PGA Championship came as a surprise, but make no mistake, Scheffler is still the No. 1 player in the world. A misstep was inevitable given his torrid spring, but Colonial should be a comfortable bounce back stop for the Dallas-Fort Worth area resident. In two appearances, he has zero top-50 finishes; however, he has never arrived with the form he currently possesses.
- Justin Thomas (12-1): When J.T. gets hot, he tends to get scorching hot. I am talking stove top-type temperature, which you can't help but touch as if you were a toddler not knowing any better. Could his PGA Championship triumph be the beginning of a 2017-like run when he won four tournaments, including his first PGA Championship and the Tour Championship? I wouldn't bet against it.
- Jordan Spieth (14-1): "Sloppy" can best describe Spieth's grand slam attempt at Southern Hills as he never gave himself a chance at contending and ultimately finished in a tie for 34th. Coincidentally, that same word could be used to chronicle his final round in last year's Charles Schwab Challenge as he fell in a two-man race to Jason Kokrak.
- Collin Morikawa (16-1)
- Viktor Hovland (18-1)
- Will Zalatoris (20-1): The Texan may look at his PGA Championship as a glass half-full situation. On one end, it was his second playoff loss of the season as he still remains without a victory on the PGA Tour. On the other, it was his fifth top-10 finish in only his eighth major championship appearance. Zalatoris is garnering the reputation as a big-game hunter and it is rightfully deserved.
- Max Homa (25-1)
- Sam Burns (28-1)
- Abraham Ancer (35-1): If Ancer had posted a round in the red figures Sunday at Southern Hills, he would have at least joined Thomas and Zalatoris in a playoff. He got lost in the final round shuffle but once again performed adequately in a major championship and has the statistical profile to thrive at Colonial.
- Daniel Berger (35-1)
- Tommy Fleetwood (35-1)
- Tony Finau (35-1)
- Sungjae Im (35-1)
Rick Gehman is joined by Kyle Porter and Jonathan Coachman to preview the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge and discuss the biggest headlines in golf this week. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
2022 Charles Schwab Challenge picks
|Winner (18-1): If Kokrak can win at Colonial, you best believe the young Norwegian can as well. Ten of the top 13 players on the leaderboard last year ranked outside the top 20 in strokes gained around the green, and that should be music to Hovland's ears. While he has struggled with his short game, the 24-year-old is not only the best iron player in this field but also the most proficient par-4 scorer over the last three months. He has yet to win in the continental United States on the PGA Tour, and I expect that to finally come to an end at the Charles Schwab Challenge.|
|Contender (40-1): It just feels like it is a matter of time before Horschel returns to the winner's circle. He was a winner in Texas last year at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and has arguably been more impressive in 2022. The Florida product's approach numbers have been sneaky good, and that's led to a pair of runner-up finishes already this season. He's accurate off the tee, can get hot with the putter and is a proven winner on the PGA Tour.|
|Sleeper (65-1): The #SB2K16 crew may officially be back. Spieth is close to returning to his peak self, Thomas has added another major championship to his résumé, and Smylie Kaufman was a delight covering the PGA Championship. All that is left is Fowler becoming a mainstay on the PGA Tour again. He has now notched consecutive top-25 finishes, and his tee to green numbers at Southern Hills were his best since the 2019 Open. The iron play has been a bright spot for the 33-year-old, and if the putter cooperates, his name should be on the leaderboard over the weekend.|